During Sundance -- the big-cheese film festival held every January in Park City, Utah -- the little town's hotel rooms are booked full, and its streets and theaters are claustrophobic with Hollywood crowds. But the ski hills at its in-town resorts -- Park City Mountain Resort and The Canyons -- are almost empty.
Personally, we've never been to the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. We've been to Robert Redford's Sundance Resort and bombed some runs in a manner worthy of a ski film and eaten some of the finest food in ski country at the Tree Room. But the film festival? Nope. We always thought the on-slope crush of stargazers would be too much for us.
Surely you've noticed in the last decade or so that the number of local kids and domestic ski bums manning the chairlifts and ticket windows of America's ski resorts has declined, their roles taken over by Argentines and Kiwis. The reasons for this are debatable -- though we think it has to do with a generation of skiing parents eager to give their kids the ski-bum experience they never had. At any rate, we're about to see more locals in on-hill uniforms this season.
Park City is getting its own whiskey distillery. The best part? It's located near the base of Park City Mountain Resort's Town Lift. David Perkins and his business partner James Dumas will soon open the High West Distillery and Saloon on Park Avenue, in a historic old auto repair shop. An attached house will feature several dining rooms and a bar where patrons can sip Perkins's award-winning Rendevous Rye and dine on menus planned by Dumas, a local chef. Ski boots welcome.
With the down economy, there are fewer major terrain expansions and new lifts being installed nationwide as most ski resorts focus on their core services, such as customer care and snow quality. Here are resort-by-resort improvements for next season compiled by Ski Utah.
Park City Mountain Resort Extends its Closing Date One Week to Sunday, April 19, 2009
What: Thanks to nearly eight feet of snow in the last 14 days and a 97-inch settled base depth, Park City Mountain Resort has extended its closing date to Sunday, April 19, 2009. The original closing day was Sunday, April 12. Beginning Monday, April 13, seven lifts are scheduled to continue operating including PayDay, Bonanza, Silverlode, Thaynes, Jupiter, First Time and Three Kings lifts.
Beginning Monday, April 13, full-day lift ticket pricing will be as follows:
Why settle for one resort when you can ski six in one day? A backcountry jaunt through the Wasatch’s best, and least-skied, terrain.
Take your right hand and make a fist, thumb-side up, like you’re dropping rock in a game of rock-paper-scissors. That fist makes a rough map of a patch of Wasatch containing some of Utah’s best skiing. Your index finger is Little Cottonwood Canyon, home to Alta and Snowbird. Wrapping around that is the thumb of Big Cottonwood, where Brighton and Solitude sit. Your thumb’s knuckle is Park City Mountain Resort, its tip Deer Valley.